Cork 1-13 Kildare 1-21
An inspired Kildare heaped more misery on Cork and continued their own qualifier redemption with a stunning performance to book a return to Croke Park for an All-Ireland quarter-final joust with Kerry.
Niall Kelly blitzed Cork for 1-04 but the Rebels defence struggled throughout, despite having Mark Collins and Paul Kerrigan back to augment their rearguard and at times having 13 men behind the ball.
Kildare remained patient though and dominating possession, picked their moments to feed runners off the shoulder, or inside men with accurate kick passes.
Cork lost Alan O’Connor through injury at the end of the first quarter but were not firing by then anyway and lost their discipline in the second half, with Kevin O’Driscoll sent off in the 54th minute for kicking out at Eoin Doyle, having won a free.
It was 0-11 to 0-05 to Kildare at half time and they were full value for that. Colm O’Neill actually gave Cork the lead in the opening minute from a free but Kildare kicked the next three points, with the first two outstanding efforts with either boot from the magnificent Kelly.
Cork did score the three on the trot including a sensational score by O’Neill under pressure from Mick O’Grady.
It was a rare moment for the Rebels to celebrate though as Kildare were superior from then to the end.
Eoghan O’Flaherty kicked four points from frees while Kelly brought his tally to three. Padraig O’Neill and Alan Smith added scores and Cork had no answer to Kildare’s workrate.
Cork almost got a dream start to the second half but Conor Dorman palmed onto the crossbar after Mark Collins had already pointed.
Instead, it was Kildare that got a 39th minute goal after a wonderful move. Peter Kelly was only on the field a matter of seconds for the injured O’Grady and he combined with Fogarty to give Niall Kelly possession.
The Athy man sent a low, left-footed shot beyond Ken O’Halloran and the All Whites were flying.
With Cork now having to come out, Kildare took advantage. Paul Cribbin, Cathal McNally and Smith were amongst those to raise white flags from play, while Donnellan converted a second 45 and O’Flaherty another free.
Colm O’Neill goaled from a 54th minute free to give Cork hope and they managed to whittle the margin down from 12 to seven but points from Cribbin and Fogarty eased the nerves and a late red card for Emmet Bolton could not dampen Kildare’s day.
Kildare: M Donnellan (0-02), O Lyons (0-01), C Fitzpatrick, M O’Grady, K Murnaghan, E Doyle, E Bolton, T Moolick, P Cribbin, C McNally (0-01), E O’Flaherty (0-05), P O’Neill (0-02), N Kelly (1-04), A Smith (0-02), E Callaghan.
Subs: P Fogarty (0-03) for Callaghan inj (35+4), P Kelly for O’Grady inj (38), M Sherry for O’Flaherty BC (51), F Conway for N Kelly (64), G White for Smith (70+1)
Cork: K O’Halloran, J O’Sullivan, M Shields, S Cronin, C Dorman, J Loughrey, Barry O’Driscoll, A O’Connor, E Cadogan, C O’Driscoll, M Collins (0-01), K O’Driscoll, C O’Neill (1-04) , D O’Connor (0-05), P Kerrigan (0-01).
Subs: Brian O’Driscoll (0-01) for Loughrey BC (11), F Goold for A O’Connor inj (21), B Hurley (0-01) for C O’Driscoll (ht), T Clancy for Cronin (44), J O’Rourke for Dorman (48), D Óg Hodnett for O’Sullivan (66)
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)